Alexandria, Va. Oct. 25, 2013 - National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement in response to news that the Food and Drug Administration is moving to reschedule Vicodin® and other hydrocodone-containing products from Schedule III to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act:
"The FDA's reported decision will likely pose significant hardships for many patients and delay relief for vulnerable patients with legitimate chronic pain, especially those in nursing home and long-term care settings. Community pharmacists support aggressive efforts to combat the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. Such abuse has ruined lives, devastated families and fostered dangerous crimes against pharmacies. At the same time, there are more practical means available to reduce prescription drug abuse. For starters, more effective education of prescribers, electronic prescription drug monitoring programs and tracking systems, and shutting down rogue pain clinics are all steps that can combat abuse without harming patients and the pharmacists caring for them."